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The Keddie Cabin Murders: A Cold Case from California – A Comprehensive Overview


The summer of 1981 was supposed to be a time of carefree fun for the families who flocked to the Keddie Resort in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. However, for one group of friends and families, the trip turned into a nightmare, one that would leave a chilling mark on the history of the state and haunt the collective imagination for decades. On July 12th, 1981, five people were brutally murdered at Cabin 28 of the Keddie Resort. The Keddie Cabin Murders, as they are now known, remain one of California’s most baffling and enduring unsolved mysteries.

Table of Contents

  • I. Introduction
  • II. The Victims
  • III. The Crime Scene
  • IV. Theories and Suspects
  • V. The Aftermath and Ongoing Investigations
  • VI. FAQs
  • VII. Conclusion

II. The Victims

The victims of the Keddie Cabin Murders were a group of friends and family who had gathered for a weekend getaway at the resort. The victims included:

  • John Guest: A 21-year-old man who was the first victim to be found at the cabin. He had been stabbed multiple times.
  • Sue Guest: John’s 16-year-old sister. She was found dead at the scene, but the circumstances of her death were more gruesome than John’s. Sue had been sexually assaulted and strangled.
  • Sheila Guest: Sue and John’s 12-year-old sister. She was found dead in a sleeping bag, seemingly undisturbed.
  • Dana Wingate: A 17-year-old friend of the Guest family who was visiting the cabin with them. Dana was discovered dead with a single gunshot wound to the head.
  • Tina, the Missing Girl: Dana’s 12-year-old younger sister, Tina, was missing from the cabin. Despite extensive searches, Tina’s whereabouts remain unknown to this day.

The night of the murders, July 11th-12th, 1981, is shrouded in mystery, with conflicting accounts and missing information. The last known sighting of the victims was around 10:30 pm on July 11th, when John Guest, Dana Wingate, and Tina were seen playing cards in the cabin. The families were expected to leave the resort the next day, but the absence of any communication from them raised red flags, and it was only on July 13th, after reports of missing persons, that the authorities were alerted.

III. The Crime Scene

The discovery of the bodies at Cabin 28 sent shockwaves through the community and baffled investigators. The cabin was located in a remote area of the Keddie Resort, away from the main buildings and frequented by families seeking a quiet escape. The crime scene was grim and unsettling, revealing the brutality of the murders.

The bodies were found in different parts of the cabin, suggesting that there had been more than one perpetrator or that the victims had been moved after the initial attack. The evidence found at the scene included:

  • A .22 caliber bullet: The bullet that killed Dana Wingate was found at the scene. However, the weapon used to fire the bullet was never recovered.
  • Bloodstains and signs of struggle: The crime scene was filled with bloodstains, suggesting a fierce fight had taken place within the cabin. The evidence pointed towards a struggle, with signs of forced entry and a general state of disarray.
  • A mysterious rope: A rope was found tied around John Guest’s wrist, its origin and purpose remaining a mystery to this day.
  • Missing items: Several items were missing from the cabin, including personal belongings of the victims, which added to the perplexing nature of the case.

The missing girl, Tina Wingate, remains the most haunting aspect of the case. No trace of Tina was found at the scene, and her disappearance adds another layer of complexity to the mystery. The lack of any clear leads regarding Tina’s fate has led to widespread speculation and a desperate desire for answers.

IV. Theories and Suspects

The Keddie Cabin Murders have been the subject of intense speculation and numerous theories. The case generated considerable public interest, leading to a plethora of theories and suggestions about the perpetrators and their motives.

The initial focus of the investigation was on the victims’ personal lives and potential connections to the suspects. The investigators explored several leads, including:

  • A possible connection to a local biker gang: The biker gang theory emerged early on in the investigation, based on the fact that the resort was located near a popular biker route. However, this theory lacked sufficient evidence to be pursued further.
  • A possible drug deal gone wrong: The presence of marijuana in the cabin prompted speculation about a drug deal gone wrong. However, the authorities could not find any evidence to support this theory.
  • A possible connection to a local serial killer: The case was also investigated for possible connections to other unsolved murders in the region. However, no definitive links were found.

The “Boar” Suspect:

One of the most enduring theories about the Keddie Cabin Murders involves a mysterious individual known only as the “Boar” suspect. This theory was fueled by a series of interviews and witness accounts that emerged in the years following the murders.

According to these accounts, a man with a peculiar appearance and a possible history of violence had been seen around the Keddie Resort in the days leading up to the murders. He was described as a large, muscular man with a distinctive boar-like face, a heavy build, and a long, thick beard.

This individual, described as a possible transient or drifter, was reportedly seen talking to the victims in the days leading up to the murders and was allegedly witnessed leaving the resort shortly after the killings. The “Boar” suspect became a central focus of the investigation, but despite extensive efforts, his identity and whereabouts remain a mystery.

The “Boar” suspect became a central focus of the investigation, but despite extensive efforts, his identity and whereabouts remain a mystery. However, his existence remains disputed, and the theory lacks concrete evidence.

V. The Aftermath and Ongoing Investigations

The Keddie Cabin Murders left a lasting impact on the small community of Keddie and its surrounding areas. The families of the victims faced a devastating loss, and their grief and longing for justice have continued for over 40 years. The case also created a sense of unease and fear in the community, leaving residents haunted by the unsolved mystery.

Despite numerous investigations and efforts to solve the case, the Keddie Cabin Murders remain unresolved. The lack of conclusive evidence and the passage of time have made it increasingly difficult to bring the perpetrators to justice. However, the case has never been closed, and law enforcement agencies continue to investigate any new leads that emerge.

The enduring mystery of the Keddie Cabin Murders has also attracted significant media attention over the years, with documentaries, news articles, and podcasts dedicated to exploring the case and its enduring mystery. The media attention has helped to keep the case in the public consciousness, fueling ongoing interest and speculation.

The media’s role in perpetuating the mystery has also had a significant impact on how the case is viewed by the public. The media has contributed to the mythologization of the case, creating a sense of intrigue and fascination that has drawn in countless armchair detectives and true crime enthusiasts.


Q1: What is the latest update on the Keddie Cabin Murders case?

Despite recent attempts to revive the investigation, the case remains unsolved. The latest news related to the Keddie Cabin Murders is the release of a documentary film in 2019 that delved into the case, shedding light on its unresolved aspects and the ongoing efforts to find answers.

Q2: Are there any new leads or developments in the investigation?

Unfortunately, there have been no significant new leads or developments in the case in recent years. However, law enforcement agencies continue to investigate any new leads that emerge, and the case remains open.

Q3: What are the most common theories about the murders?

The most prevalent theories about the murders include the possibility of a drug deal gone wrong, a connection to a local biker gang, and the involvement of the mysterious “Boar” suspect. However, all of these theories lack sufficient evidence to be confirmed.

Q4: What happened to Tina, the missing child from the case?

Tina Wingate’s disappearance remains a central mystery in the Keddie Cabin Murders. Despite extensive searches and investigations, her fate remains unknown. Her case has been investigated separately from the murders of the other victims, but no solid leads have been discovered.

Q5: Is there any evidence linking the Keddie Cabin Murders to other unsolved cases?

There have been investigations into possible connections between the Keddie Cabin Murders and other unsolved cases in the area, but no definitive links have been established. However, the possibility of a connection remains a subject of ongoing speculation and investigation.

VII. Conclusion

The Keddie Cabin Murders stand as a stark reminder of the enduring mysteries that can plague even the most seemingly safe places. The brutal nature of the murders and the unresolved fate of Tina Wingate have cemented the case in the public consciousness, captivating generations of true crime enthusiasts.

The lack of definitive answers has left a void that continues to fuel speculation and the desire for justice for the victims. The case serves as a chilling reminder that even in seemingly peaceful and familiar surroundings, darkness can lurk, leaving behind a trail of unanswered questions and enduring grief.

The Keddie Cabin Murders remain an ongoing mystery, with each new lead or theory offering a glimpse into the complex puzzle that has yet to be solved. While the case may have gone cold, the memories of the victims and the desperate need for answers will continue to resonate, reminding us that some crimes leave an indelible mark on history.